Friday, March 3, 2017

An Interview with...Megan Nodecker

Once a week I post interviews with interesting people about their insights on their experience of working in the Knitting industry. I’ve noticed that every one of these individuals makes their living in a slightly different manner bringing their own unique presence to the knitting world.

You can find Megan here and here on Ravelry.

Where do you find inspiration? 
I get my inspiration from a combination of knitting, fashion and photography. I pour over stitch patterns and fondle yarn with abandon, I love people watching and always have a notebook handy if I see an interesting detail or shape, and I have Pinterest boards, saved links and a desktop full of photos that are always growing and sparking new ideas.

What is your favourite knitting technique?
This changes with every new design, but if I could only choose one thing to focus on for the rest of time it would be lace. I just love how easy it is to manipulate. You can create something very soft, light and delicate like a summer shawl but change certain elements like yarn weight or gauge and it becomes something entirely different, full of strength and texture.

Do you look at other designers’ work or are you afraid that you will be influenced by their designs?
Absolutely! I think it is very important to not just look at others’ work, but to knit it as well. That is the best way to learn new techniques and skills and ultimately grow as a knitter and designer. I think it is a good thing to be influenced by others work, just as I would want someone to be influenced by mine. I, in no way, am talking about copying someone else’s designs but sometimes I’ll see something interesting and think about how it could be used in different applications.

How many sample/test knitters do you have working for you or do you do it all yourself?
I do all of the samples myself, but I do have an amazing team of test knitters in my Ravelry group to make sure every pattern is the best it can be before getting published. I also have a sister who is a graphic designer and she does all of the pattern layouts and web design. 

Did you do a formal business plan?
I did not, but I do have a list of goals (long and short term) that I am always adding to.

Do you have a mentor?
I don’t have a mentor but I do have a lot of knitting designers that I look up to.  

Do you use a tech editor?
For outside publications and larger projects, yes. For smaller things like accessories with only two or three sizes, no. I’m a bit of a math geek so for smaller things it’s usually the formatting and grammar I need a second set of eyes for, and my testers take care of that.

How do you maintain your life/work balance?
I don’t? No, but this is something that I am constantly working on. I find as a stay at home/ work at home mom it’s very hard to draw those lines. If I’m really into a project I have to make sure I don’t throw myself too hard into it and neglect things like my husband and my daughter and my house!

How do you deal with criticism?
It depends. If someone offers constructive criticism I don’t take offense… anymore. When I first started working with test knitters I tended to take things personally but once I realized that people were really just trying to help, it got a lot easier. I also learned that just because someone suggests something doesn’t mean you have to do it! For criticism that is not constructive and just plain mean (because even in our wonderful little knitting community, it does happen from time to time!) I just ignore it and move on.  

What advice would you give someone who wants to pursue a career in knitting?
To keep at it and know that it is not something that’s going to happen overnight and to be open to new opportunities.

What’s next for you?
More and better.

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